Thoughts on the Peterson Amendment: What’s Up With Florida?

By May 19, 2006Energy

In light of the disappointing passage of the Putnam-Capps Amendment last night — the language that stripped out the good work that Rep. Peterson had done in Committee — we had a few thoughts.

Not to pick on Florida (it’s a nice place to visit, after all), but essentially the entire 25-member delegation voted for this thing, so as to stop any Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) exploration. (See roll call vote, below.) Well, that’s all fine and good, except for a few fun facts that made their way to us this week:

— Florida’s utility generation will require over a 90% increase in natural gas generation over the next ten years;

— In the future, new generation capacity is forecast to be 80% natural-gas fired;

— According to the Energy Information Administration, Florida ranks third in energy consumption;

— Florida’s demand for electric generation is expected to grow by 58% in the next 14 years;

— Virtually all of Florida’s electric and transportation energy comes from out of state;

— Finally, remember that Cuba can drill 50 miles off of Florida’s coast, while we can’t.

Had the 25 members of the Florida Congressional delegation voted against the Putnam-Capps amendment, it would have failed comfortably. It just doesn’t seem right that they can have de facto veto power over accessing the enormous stores of natural gas supplies off of their east and west coasts while leading the nation in increasing demand.

Just ain’t right.